Bentley announces that it will only sell electric vehicles after 2030. Here is its strategy.
After spending 2019 celebrating its centennial year, Bentley has just unveiled its “Beyond100” plan, its strategy for the next ten years. As you might expect, the future looks electrified for the British manufacturer. Electrical even, since Bentley plans to offer only “zero-emission” vehicles by 2030!
As the company points out,
it is a matter of moving from being the world’s largest producer of twelve-cylinder gasoline engines, the fruit of 100 years of history, to a manufacturer that will no longer offer any combustion engines in less than a decade. Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark makes no secret that this transformation is being driven by changing regulations. However, he points out that 25 percent of the brand’s customers say they are interested in an electric Bentley and sees the transition as both a business opportunity and a way to make the brand more environmentally and socially responsible.
A change in image too
Bentley’s transformation will therefore be radical and rapid, but still gradual. Crewe’s brand will launch two plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2021. It then plans to offer a hybrid variant of each of its models beginning in 2023, two years earlier than announced in 2018. The first all-electric Bentley will be launched in 2025. By 2026, the catalog will no longer include any all-thermal cars and will offer a choice between plug-in hybrid and electric. Then, starting in 2030, Bentley will offer only all-electric vehicles. The nature of the first production Bentley without an internal combustion engine has not been revealed. Adrian Hallmark has not ruled out the possibility of an electric descendant of the Mulsanne limousine, but he remains cautious given the commercial decline of sedans.
By 2025, the manufacturer wants to reduce its environmental impact by 75% compared to 2010 to move towards carbon neutrality, in line with the strategy of its parent company Volkswagen, which aims for 2050. The company also wants to give itself a cooler image with a modernized design for its vehicles, which it promises to always be identifiable at first glance as Bentleys,
and more diversity in its workforce. The historic Crewe plant is already CO2 neutral according to Bentley, and the facilities will be expanded with the construction of two buildings dedicated to research and development, a quality control center, and a vehicle test center. Struggling to meet its sales targets in recent years, Bentley has clearly decided to play “double or nothing” to negotiate the current shift in the automotive industry.